Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

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International Workshop on Agritourism 2022 Conference Proceedings

The International Workshop on Agritourism (IWA) 2022 Conference Proceedings is intended to increase access to the scholarship that was shared during the three-day conference, which was hosted by University of Vermont Extension in Burlington, Vermont, USA, on August 30 – September 1, 2022. It contains 27 peer-reviewed papers. NERCRD staff provided editorial, project management, and graphic design support to this effort.

Authors: Edited by Lisa Chase, Chadley Hollas, Xinyi Qian, and Claire Whitehouse

Publication: Published jointly by the National Extension Tourism Network and the Global Agritourism Network, with support from the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development Date Published: July 13, 2023

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The NET Effect: Members of the National Extension Tourism Network Help Raise the Bar in Sustainable Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

This 57-page publication is available here as a Flipping Book or here as a PDF (6.8MB). It contains eight case studies that explore innovative Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant work in sustainable tourism and outdoor recreation. It features work being done in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.

The magazine is an outcome of a partnership of the National Extension Tourism (NET) design team, the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD), and the New Technologies for Ag Extension (NTAE) grant program.

Authors: Heather Martin, Rose Hayden-Smith, and Kristen Devlin

Publication: Published by the Extension Foundation Date Published: January 22, 2023

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The U.S. Recreation Economy: Data, COVID-19, and Implications for Extension

The breadth, depth, and speed of the economic collapse associated with the COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented in economic history. No sector was hit harder than Leisure and Hospitality, which accounts for the economic core of tourism and recreation-based activity. Only recently has employment in this sector begun to show signs of recovery toward pre-pandemic levels. Here we document the importance of the Leisure and Hospitality sector to the economy and identify impacts from the pandemic and recovery, at both state and local (county) levels. Selected implications for Extension Services programming by Land- and Sea-Grant institutions are highlighted.

Authors: Stephan J. Goetz, Luyi Han, Daniel Eades, Jason Entsminger, Doug Arbogast

Publication: 2021 NET Conference Proceedings Date Published: October 4, 2022


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Impacts of COVID-19 on Northeast Tourism and Recreation Economies

NERCRD COVID-19 Data Brief 22-02: This data brief characterizes tourism-related economic changes in the Northeast during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparisons between rural and metro counties are highlighted, showing that different tourism and recreation economies experienced the pandemic’s effects differently too.

Download the data brief:

Data Supplement

Download detailed Northeast state-level data here.

Authors: Jason Entsminger, Luyi Han, and Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: NERCRD COVID-19 Issues Brief Series Date Published: July 27, 2022

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Linking research and practice: The role of Extension on agritourism development in the U.S.

Agritourism is a critical farm diversification strategy for farmers to enhance income and profit potential with benefits related to rural community development, increased awareness of sustainability practices, and local heritage preservation. For rural community and economic development professionals, agritourism has become an important strategy to develop local tourism, grow small businesses, and enhance regional economic diversification. We propose that the agritourism ecosystem would arguably benefit from more robust Extension programming and network development. A discussion of two state case studies, Vermont and California, provides an overview of the critical elements necessary to build a statewide agritourism program. The role of Extension in rural development and tourism underscores the opportunity to utilize agritourism as a broader development strategy. Finally, we make recommendations for growing the role of Extension in agritourism. More robust training and education for Extension professionals, stronger connections to state tourism departments, and more robust advocacy with university and state-level decision makers on the value of agritourism investments are all highlighted as crucial next steps.

Authors: Claudia Schmidt, Lisa Chase, Carla Barbieri, Ellie Rilla, Doolarie Singh Knights, Dawn Thilmany, Stacy Tomas, Lori Dickes, Sarah Cornelisse, R. David Lamie, Rachael Callahan, Holly George, and Penny Leff

Publication: Applied Economics Teaching Resources Date Published: July 1, 2022

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An early assessment of COVID-19’s impact on tourism in U.S. counties

We use county-level data to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the tourism and hospitality sector, which was by far the most impacted of all sectors, focusing on employment and wage changes. Results support our hypothesis that rural counties experienced fewer negative impacts or even benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of job growth. We present maps showing the pandemic’s effects on leisure and hospitality (L&H) employment across the nation, identifying the communities both hardest hit and least impacted. A linear regression model is developed to explore independent factors that influenced the pandemic’s local impact. Results are robust across different measures of the key variable (rurality), including rural-urban continuum codes, distance from metropolitan areas, and population density. We also consider the impacts of social capital, income, and local economic diversification, among other factors. Our results suggest that remote, less-populated counties were more likely to experience stable employment in the L&H sector relative to pre-pandemic levels, and in some cases even experienced employment growth.

Authors: Luyi Han, Stephan J. Goetz, Daniel Eades, Jason Entsminger, Doug Arbogast

Publication: Tourism Economics Date Published: June 16, 2022


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Extension and Tourism: Previous Efforts, Current Trends, and the Future

This study highlights the results of a national survey of Extension land-grant and sea grant professionals designed to better understand their involvement in state/regional tourism programming and their perceptions of tourism related opportunities and challenges. This study demonstrates the breadth and importance of Extension’s tourism programing and continued challenges including limited investment and commitment by state institutions and the larger CES for core tourism program offerings. Investments in tourism programing are recommended as a way for Extension to maintain its relevancy, and better engage and address the community and economic development needs of traditional and emerging audiences.

Authors: Doug Arbogast, Daniel Eades, Stephan J. Goetz, and Yuxuan Pan

Publication: Journal of Extension Date Published: May 9, 2022

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Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia

The economies of many counties and subregions in Appalachia have historically depended on a few dominant industries, such as mining or manufacturing. In recent years, Appalachian coal production has plummeted, resulting in devastating impacts on families, communities, counties, and states. It is critical to understand how coal-impacted communities can transform and diversify their economies and build resilience against future economic shocks.

Authors: Fritz Boettner, Evan Fedorko, Evan Hansen, Stephan J. Goetz, Yicheol Han, Christine Gyovai, Emily Carlson, Alexandria Sentilles

Publication: Appalachian Regional Commission Date Published: February 1, 2019

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